January 29, 2019

Winter Decor

Hello! I am emerging back into the world after a bout of the flu that passed through 3 out of 5 of us in the last couple of weeks. The shift in perspective always amazes me when illness strikes. It causes me to take pause and be thankful for my family's health in a new way, if only for a short time. I never want to take it for granted and, as horrible as it is being sick, I am grateful for the reminder.
I have been adding some cozy layers to our home for winter. I spent countless hours on the sectional in our family room. As soon as I was well enough, I took all the slipcovers off and gave them a good washing. I remain a huge fan of slipcovered furniture for that very reason.
I spent a lot of time with Netflix while I was sick. Have you seen "The Staircase"? I think it's been out for a while, but I watched the whole thing over the course of a couple of days and I am still left wondering if he did it. If you've seen it, what do you think? I also read a couple of books. I loved One Day in December and I am currently finishing Kitchen Yarns. There's nothing quite like a warm fire and a good book in January.
We are considering a new project for a long wall in our family room. I spend way too much time perusing home tours on Zillow of charming New England homes. One of the elements that many of those homes have is bookshelves, lots and lots of bookshelves. I always think that homes filled with shelves of books house the most interesting people, don't you? 
I tried a new arrangement for the furniture in our family room after the holidays and I dare say it is my favorite yet. The corner fireplace can be tricky, but I angled the sectional towards the fireplace with our Pottery Barn console behind, and it added instant coziness for the winter.
One more change I am considering is retiring the big wall unit that currently houses our tv. For now, it's separated from the bookshelf pieces, but I am on the hunt for a new piece to put the television on. I'm hoping to find some sort of interesting piece - maybe a card catalog or apothecary cabinet? - so I am not rushing into it.
Do you have any home projects planned for the new year?

January 15, 2019

DIY Pot Rack Tutorial (Finally!)

Hello and Happy New Year! I am starting off 2019 with a DIY post that I have been meaning to put together for quite some time. It was #1 on my Blog To-Do list for the new year so here we go!
I have loved the idea of both the country style and functionality of a pot rack for years.  However, I held off because I worried that it might close in the ceiling and make our kitchen feel smaller. But my main concern was that it might just seem too kitschy and cluttered. And then one day I decided to just go for it - not really sure we would end up keeping it. Many of our projects start out that way - we figure what do we have to lose? Worst case scenario is we end up spackling some extra holes in the ceiling, right? We didn't have any sort of plan to go on other than a couple of old pictures from country magazines found on Pinterest. I knew I wanted it to be wood rather than metal, more rustic than refined - and have space to display some fun decorative items above the pots.
Here's a list of the supplies we used, all purchased at Home Depot.
We started by building the frame of the pot rack from 1x3's made of pine that we stained using Minwax stain that we already had on hand from other projects (color Special Walnut). Our pot rack measures 60"x 20.5" because we wanted it to be a slightly smaller rectangle than our island (which measures 64"x38" including the granite overhang). We used screws that we countersunk to connect the three 19 inch pine cross pieces. We didn't worry about seeing the holes for the screws because we wanted it to look rustic. You can see the screws in the close-up below.
On the corners, we attached 2" metal corner braces that we found at Home Depot to add more rustic charm. Then, we added some chicken wire to the top of the rack with staples, again for that country look and so I could display some fun items. Finally, we attached 4 metal hooks to each corner.
We knew the pot rack needed to be sturdy so we also attached two 1x3 planks of pine directly to the studs in the ceiling using screws. Then we attached 4 of the same hooks on the pot rack to the ceiling planks. We used chain, purchased at Home Depot, to connect the hooks on the ceiling to the hooks on the pot rack.
Then came the fun part - accessories! I picked up these hooks in the houseplant section of Home Depot and they ended up working well enough. They came in a 2 pack and it seems like I never have enough! I just found this package of hooks on Amazon and they seem like a much better value. I simply hang the hook from the chicken wire and then hang the item from the other side of the hook.
I've been slowly adding some copper pots to my collection and I change up the top shelf items with the seasons. But the best part is the function it adds. On the backside, I have lots of useful items like a colander, tea pot, cheese grater and measuring spoons. It's great to be able to just reach up and grab what I need when I am working in the kitchen.
My very favorite season with the pot rack so far was fall. I think the copper works best with the colors and warm light of fall!
Overall, this project was quick and affordable and added so much style and much needed storage to our country kitchen.